Just wanted to get that out there.
I'm probably going to post a bit now, and a bit more later, after I've had some time to think about it all. I read it fairly quickly, all things considered, and I feel like it's a story that takes some digestion, so I'll just give my initial reactions and thoughts for now.
So much of the language and customs are foreign to me, that I find myself reading past things to get to other things. I will say this, I got hooked. The characters are the heart of this novel. My favorite sections are the interactions between Reuven and Danny. Their conversation and friendship is so profoundly genuine, it makes me want that kind of relationship for myself. But, having a husband who works and goes to school full time (and has a drill sergeant for a calculus teacher) makes for sporadic short, and simple conversations. All conversation is good, but lengthy, deep conversations are nourishment for the soul.
On the topic of souls, I will admit that I cried when Reb Saunders spoke to Danny through Reuven at the end there, but I side with Reuven and his dad in that silence is no way to raise a child. I understand that Danny's father didn't really have a choice at the time, he needed his son to understand pain, and that was a sure fire way of doing it. I was as angry as Reuven must have been with Reb Saunders for what he had done. My tears came because of my sympathy for Danny and the pain he went through all those years.
Now that I think about it though, Reb Saunders, Danny's father, must have been in pain also. I can't imagine not speaking to my children for years except in study....
The way I see it, the main theme of this story is friendship; that it is not always easy, and sometimes can hurt, but being, and/or having, a truly great friend is one of the greatest accomplishments one can have in life.
It's late, and I really want to think about this more. There are so many layers to think through, I'm not sure I'll be able to get through them all before Saturday.
Saturday evening marks the start of the next book: Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter.
The Page Traveler
P.S. Can anyone tell me why the author called this book, The Chosen? I have a few theories, but if anyone knows exactly why, like if the author made a statement or something, I'd really like to know.